This is an update of a deal I wrote about earlier this year.
Having trouble getting a Wi-Fi signal to go where you need it to go? It's a fairly common problem: I've been in houses where the signal won't reach beyond one room, let alone between floors. So what are your options?
One option is to run Ethernet cable through walls, floors, and ceilings. It's effective, but also a major pain in the butt.
A much easier option is to use a powerline networking kit, which takes advantage of your home's existing electrical wiring. It's a simple, plug-and-play solution.
And usually an expensive one. But today, Newegg has the Zyxel PLA-401v3 HomePlug AV powerline networking kit for $49.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code EMCJHJG83 at checkout.
This is the best deal I've seen on one of these kits. It's new, not refurbished, and $49.99 is your out-the-door price--no waiting on rebates.
The adapters work like this: you plug one into an electrical outlet near your router, then connect it to your router with an included Ethernet cable. Then you plug the other into an outlet near the computer that needs network access, and run its cable into the computer's Ethernet port. That's it, you're done!
You can buy additional adapters if you need connectivity in additional rooms.
The PLA-401 promises data transfer rates of up to 200Mbps--good enough for streaming HD video. The user reviews on Newegg are mostly positive; one notes that because the plugs are non-polarized, you can plug in the adapters "right side up" (meaning with their Ethernet ports facing up instead of down).
For 50 bucks, this is definitely a faster and easier alternative to running Ethernet cable through your walls and floors. Big fan.
Bonus deal: Genius idea: a backpack or briefcase that can charge all your gadgets. That's the Powerbag line in a nutshell; each pack, case, and messenger bag comes with a stowaway rechargeable battery and cords for powering miniUSB, microUSB, and iDevice gear. They're a bit pricey, and rarely on sale, but here's a Cheapskate exclusive:
10 15 percent off any Powerbag, plus free shipping, when you use coupon code PBHOLIDAY. Check out my Powerbag review over on my blog.
Bonus deal No. 2: I don't know how long these will last (probably not very), but Best Buy has refurbished Xbox 360 Arcade game consoles for $89.99 shipped (plus tax). That's the best Xbox deal I've ever seen, period.